Category Archives for "Coach Nancy"

What’s Going on Inside Cr8 Fitness Now?

Everyone is busy. In order to make your life easier I thought I would give you a heads up on some things going on inside the gym now and in the next few weeks. Check it out!

Quick recap of the video just for you:

  • Cr8 Fitness has your favorite protein flavors, multi- vitamin, Fish oil, Probiotics, and Zinc/Magnesium Supplements all stocked up. Let me know you need something.
  • T Shirt Design Challenge  -  You've been asking for more Cr8 Fitness T Shirts, tank tops, and sleeveless shirts.
    Put your imagination in gear and help design the next awesome shirt. Your design will need to be posted here in picture form by Tuesday, July 27th. We'll vote and get the new design to the T- Shirt guys at Shirtmasters for an August delivery.
    This is a challenge. Put your heads together, talk with those in your crew, get your pencils out and come up with an idea. On July 28th and July29th we'll vote here on your favorite design. The person who submitted that design will get their shirt free. Since its always good to have lots of ideas, I'll also raffle off a free shirt to all those who submit a design.
    Please make the design family friendly. It needs to be original. I've already heard some really good thought. Put them to paper or your computer and generate it.
  • Be Strong - it's good for you and it's one of the reason you come into the gym
  • A team Ski Challenge is coming up in August. Details coming soon.
  • Schedule your  Inbody scan - its easy
  • Have fun and help others have fun too. 
  • Ice cream can be eaten for breakfast. We recently sampled protein ice cream. Which means some of us had ice cream before 6am. It's super easy to make. I'll put the recipe below.

I count it a privilege to be your Coach. You are important to me. It's a proven fact that if you become healthier, you automagically become happier. And the world needs more happy. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


Protein Ice Cream

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 Scoops UMP Chocolate Protein
  • 4 cups ice

Blend for 30 seconds in a powerful blender. You'll need to eat this right away. It's much better that way. 🙂

When You Don’t Really Want Chicken Recipe

Staring into an open refrigerator didn't help me much yesterday. I knew there was chicken inside that I had on the menu to cook. I just didn't feel like chicken. Actually I just didn't feel like cooking. Coach Dean does most of the cooking yet I take over a few days a week. Today was my day and chicken was supposed to be on the menu. Yuck. 

I am sure that has happened to you at times too. Since I couldn't change my fate about a chicken dinner, I decided to change my mind. I spent a few minutes decided what type of food I was in the mood for and then went to my cookbook. I love Thai food and Mexican food. Probably because both have a bit of spicy hot to them. I went with Thai. 

I'm going to post the recipe as it is written but hang onto your hats because I changed it up drastically. Here's the original. Which by the way is fantastic, I just didn't have crockpot time yesterday. 

Chicken Pad Thai

  • 2 pound chicken thighs, skinless you can also use chicken breasts
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon sunflower seed butter, (Sunbutter)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp. of fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger (or 1 tbsp. freshly minced ginger)
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chopped cashews
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and a little bit of the cayenne pepper and ginger. Add coconut milk and chicken stock to a crockpot and stir well. Add sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, 2 chopped green onions, cayenne pepper, and red pepper. Stir well until sunflower seed butter is completely dissolved. Place chicken breasts or thighs into the base liquid.Using a spiral slicer turn the zucchinis into veggie noodles, and shred your carrots in a food processor. Toss the zucchini noodles and carrots together to mix them well. Place these on top of the chicken in the slow cooker. The goal is for them to be steamed, not stewed.Cook for 3.5 to 4 hours on low if you are using a 4-quart slow cooker. Cook for 5 to 6 hours on low if you are using a 6-quart slow cooker. To serve, place veggie noodles on each plate and top with . chicken, then garnish with green onions, chopped cilantro, and chopped cashews.


All good stuff right?


Now here is what I did instead. 

Coach Nancy's Chicken Pad Thai (Take 2)

  • 2 pound chicken thighs, (skin on bone in)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoon sunflower seed butter, (Sunbutter)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp. of fish sauce
  •  1 tbsp. freshly minced ginger (2 tsp. ground ginger)
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chopped cashews


Place the chicken in a 9 x9 cooking dish. Add the coconut milk, sunflower seed butter, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, 2 chopped green onions, and red pepper flakes. Stir well until sunflower seed butter is completely dissolved. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 until temperature reaches 160. (about an hour)

Using a vegetable peeler turn the zucchinis and carrot into veggie noodles. Toss the zucchini noodles and carrots together to mix them well. Don't use the inner soft seedy area of the squash. Sauté the veggie strips in a pan heated to medium with melted coconut oil for about 3 minutes until soft. I used the recipe for Vegetable Fettuccine as the base for the Chicken Pad Thai.

To serve, place veggie noodles on each plate and top with chicken. Garnish with green onions and chopped cashews.

I loved the new take on this recipe for one reason, I liked how the skin on the chicken crisped up and the flavor from the liquid it was in stood out. It was a bonus how sensational it looks in the picture.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

I have different Chicken Thai recipes. Click here for one that uses broccoli slaw and lime juice. 

Sunflower Shoots, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Salad

Microgreens are the new thing when it comes to salad. At least they are in the Carlson house. Sunflower shoots are one of the six different kinds of Microgreens grown by Papa Dean. Sunflower shoots have a slight nuttiness to them and a bit of a crunch which provides a great texture. According the Riegl Palate; “Farmers originally started growing them in greenhouses to provide a supply of winter greens. They’ve become such a popular microgreen that they’re now grown all year round and available at many farmers markets. Microgreens contain up to 100 times the enzymes found in full grown greens allowing your body to more easily assimilate vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (substances found in certain plants that are believed to be beneficial to our health and help prevent various diseases).” My favorite reason to eat Sunflower shoots? I really like they way they taste. 

Sunflower Shoots, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Salad

  • 1 small head green leaf lettuce, I’m going to use Papa Dean’s microgreens 🙂
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, each slice rolled up and cut in half
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 14 cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 2 cups sunflower shoots (loosely packed)
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Divide the microgreens between 2 plates. Arrange prosciutto, mozzarella and cherries on top of lettuce.

Top with sunflower shoots.

Lightly drizzle rice wine vinegar and olive oil over salad – you may not need the full amount of either. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve immediately.

Whatever reason you pick to eat Sunflower shoots I hope you purchase them from Papa Dean.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Memorial Day Meltdown Winners

The week before Recovery week is always marked by FUN Fridays and this week is also special because the Memorial Day Meltdown Challenge concluded. Now it's not the end of a challenge that is special, it is awarding prizes to those who worked hard that is amazing. 

This challenge focused on losing unhealthy body fat. We did that by controlling the amount of processed foods we ate for the last 28 days. No special pills, diet potions, or crazing meal plans that only included steamed broccoli and baked chicken. 

The meals were delicious. Lots of colorful veggies along side a protein with some beneficial fats sprinkled in. 

Tracy's dinner meal looks amazing with the Lake as a back drop

For 28 Days we worked on different ways to keep making it happen while life's challenges occur. Since you have to eat no matter where you are or what you are doing, we focused on choosing healthy options whether stuck at a lunch meeting, out of the house all day on the run, in the house working with the fridge nearby, or weekend events and parties. 

Pumpkin pancakes were a must try. Lisa captured the meal and left a message that she was super impressed with them.

And of course there are prizes. The Memorial Day Meltdown Challenge had 5 different prizes to be won. No one knew what these prizes were ahead of time. Our goal was to become healthier through this challenge. And although the saying can be a bit corny, We are all winners when that is the goal. 

We did award real prizes too. The top 15 people who lost the highest percentage of body fat had their names put into a bucket for the raffling off of the 5 prizes. Here is how that went down. 

These prizes were awarded without any particular order and the names were drawn randomly. 

1 hour massage certificate to Chichester Massage - Brian Lothridge

1 bottle of SFH fish oil and 1 container, any flavor, of protein - Sue Chamberlin

3 months of Cr8 Your Plate Meal Planning - Lori Chateneauf

A summer supply of Papa Dean's Microgreens - Jeannie Johnson

Precision Nutrition bundle pack - Laurie Roy


Now here is your next challenge. Keep it going. Keep increasing your health. In order to keep your health you have to work at it. Health doesn't come naturally in fact as we age, we naturally lose health. Fight that fight. 

Congratulations to all.

Please contact me at nancy@cr8fitness.com to find ways I can help  you stay in the fight for the best health you can. 

Remember what Coach Dean always says; "When you get healthier you automagically get happier and the world needs more happy."

To your best health,

Coach Nancy


How do You Spell FUN Friday?

Fun Friday has become a tradition around Cr8 Fitness. For the last 13 years each Friday has been marked by FUN. What exactly does that mean? 

According to Coach Nancy, "FUN Friday is always fun. Of course it's hard work but FUN all the same."

Team work, camaraderie, jokes, and a great training session all are parts of FUN Friday. Ending the week on a high note is the best of all.

Best week ever is when there is a string of FUN Friday all in a row. The week before recovery week is famous for this. You can check out all the Recovery weeks for the year 2021 right here. Recovery weeks are like a vacation for your body. You'll return from Recovery week feeling ready to train hard and Make It Happen.

Enjoy the FUN,

Coach Nancy 


Here's what a few had to say about FUN Friday after FUN Friday happened.

Watermelon Microgreen Salad – Better than Yum!

It's about 420 degrees outside. The humidity level is around a zillion. The end of June is here. Summer is in full swing for the next few days. It's a perfect for watermelon. 

When I polled everyone recently the top food to eat when it is hot outside is watermelon. Salad was a close second followed by a cold dessert. I have solutions for all of that plus more. 

Watermelon is delicious and delicious for you. 

Nutrition Facts  -  Serving Size: 1 cup of diced

  • Calories 46
  • Total Fat 0.23g0%
  • Total Carbohydrate  11.48g4%
  • Dietary Fiber  0.6g2%
  • Sugars  9.42g
  • Protein  0.93g

So eat up.

I just made this salad yesterday. It was refreshing and sweet at the same time. Plus it took no time at all to prepare.

Watermelon and Papa Dean's Microgreens 

1 cup watermelon

2 Tablespoons feta cheese

1 large fistful of Papa Dean's Spicy Mix Microgreens

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Lay the greens in your bowl, add the watermelon and cheese, drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top. Enjoy

Here's some ideas to enjoy more watermelon in your day.

Grilled Watermelon  - click here

Watermelon Pops - click here  

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Your Next Perfect Day is Today

What would your perfect day be like? Maybe you’d sleep in, have your coffee and breakfast brought to you in bed. You’d then be able to stay in your PJ’s the whole day and watch the movies of your choice. Or maybe your perfect day would be to wake up with a view overlooking the ocean where a slight breeze was blowing and you’d be able to read a book lounging in a chair during the day. Some might find their perfect day as a hike in the woods with their best friend having lunch at the summit of the mountain overlooking a vast valley below.

Are perfect days only about the events of that day? Could a perfect day be more about the feelings you derive from certain events? If feelings really control your perfect day, can a perfect day happen when the events don’t line up? Can you choose to have a perfect day without perfect circumstances?

I’m a positive person. At least that is how I view myself. I am positive the day is going to happen no matter what I do or feel. Time marches on. In fact time is the one thing we can’t control. Only God is able to stop the sun or the clocks from ticking away at time.

Here’s my conclusion. Since I can’t alter time, and circumstances rarely line up in such a way to call an entire day perfect; I need to rely on my feelings to make a day perfect. There is a sign in the gym that reads, “Best Day Ever”. That is my goal to make each day the best I can with that day’s events in that day’s timeframe. It’s not always easy, it is always worth the effort. It is a matter of stirring up feelings that will support a perfect day.

Coach Dean often says; “if you get healthier you get happier and the world needs a whole lot more happy.”

If I had the power to make your day the Best Ever, I would. I promise you I will do all I can as your coach to make your healthier so that you are happier.

To the Best Day Ever,

Coach Nancy

Raspberry Summer Salad With Microgreens

I'll admit it, I'm in a rut. I just can't seem to stop making and eating this salad. It tastes so good and it is amazing to look at. The raspberries make me happy. Try it and let me know what you think. 

Raspberry Summer Salad with Microgreens

  • 1 box Papa Dean's Microgreens Sunny or Spicy blend
  • 1/2 cup Raspberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red raspberry jam (with seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup walnut or olive oil

Toast walnuts in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown.

In a large bowl, toss together the greens, walnuts, blue cheese, avocado, and red onion.

In a small bowl, whisk together jam, vinegar, walnut oil, pepper, and salt. Pour over the salad just before serving, and toss to coat. Garnish salad with the fresh berries.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

The Easiest Steps to Meal Planning

Planning meals ahead of time will save you time and money. It will ease your stress levels each day as your dinner plans are already made. It will also help you to eat healthier. Below are some advantages of planning each meal.

  • Your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator will be stocked with healthy food.
  • The stress level in your life will be less as you don’t have to do ‘The 5 Minutes until Dinner – Now What?’ Dance.
  • You’ll save time and money because you will make fewer trips to the grocery store
  • Your family’s stress level will go down as they don’t get caught up in the nightly family strife over eating the same ole thing
  • Since each dinner is planned you will not indulged in so many fast food, high calorie meals because you won’t have to go through the hassle of ‘what do I fix tonight?’
  • Did I mention the stress level will go down in your life and in those around you? As your kids get shuffled off to practice they are actually going to miss not being around you
  • You will find that you have increased the variety of foods you eat each week creating a well balanced diet.
  • Dinner time will become a relaxed enjoyable time for the family to spend together.

There’s no doubt that planning your meals is not only crucial to achieving your best body, but also extremely challenging! Today’s hectic lifestyles make “grab and go” a lot more likely than “sit and relax”.

Who’s got the time to make it all happen?

You can achieve your best health and enjoy great food- the key lies in your ability to plan.

Planning your first week of meals is easier than you think.

  • Write down your family’s favorite meals. To help you out, list the dinner meals you ate last week. You might need to ask your kids for help. Shoot to write down five to seven meals.
  • Tweak these meals if they need to be healthier versions. You’re looking to fill your plate with lots of Protein, Produce and Water.
  • List out 2 or 3 PPW (Protein Produce and Water) breakfast meals you enjoy eating.
  • Alternate these meals on your menu plan the first week. Remember breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional. Eating leftovers at breakfast makes things quick to reheat.
  • Lunch is next. Do you have time to make a meal each day for lunch or is leftovers a better choice. Remember “Simple is easiest, Simple is best”
  • If you choose to make your meals, prep as much as you can the night before.
  • Lunch can be easy. Baked chicken from the night before takes on a whole new appearance on top of a salad. Don’t have leftover chicken? Open a can/bag of tuna to place on top of the salad. Another option is to grab a few hard boiled eggs and make egg salad using an avocado as the mayonnaise. Add in a variety of raw veggies and your lunch is complete.

Knowing is only half the battle. Even if you know what’s good and expect to eat supportively, if the foods aren’t around when it’s time to eat, it’s hard to succeed.

Planning is half of the battle. Speaking of planning, make a grocery list. Using your meal plan as a guide to what you need to pick up list out the foods to buy.

You can make this happen! It takes a little planning and dedication once a week to get your plan on track.

To Your best health,

Coach Nancy

Georgie Fear allowed me to use her Meal Plan flowchart. Sums up when we eat, now make a plan for what to eat. 

Wilted Pea Shoots, Caramelized Garlic, and Shrimp

I am so excited about this recipe. Pea shoots raw in a salad are fantastic. Lightly sautéing them is kicking it up a notch. WOW- Fabulous. You have got to try this. Your taste buds will thank you. 

Wilted Pea Shoots, Caramelized Garlic, and Shrimp

  • 1 box Papa Dean's Microgreen Pea Shoots
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ pound shrimp
  • Lemon zest (optional)
  • Peeled garlic cloves
  • Olive oil

Place as many peeled pieces of garlic as you wish in a saucepan. Cover with olive oil. (I sliced the garlic thin so I didn’t have to use as much oil.)

Simmer on low heat until the garlic is a deep brown. Turn off heat. This is a 20 minute process but can be done on food prep day.

When the oil has cooled, separate garlic cloves and oil with a sieve, reserving both oil and garlic in separate containers.

Place a tablespoons of garlic oil in a hot pan over medium heat.

Add a box of Papa Dean’s Microgreen Pea Shoots to the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stir just until wilted.

Toss in a handful of caramelized garlic cloves.

Serve as a side dish.

For the Shrimp:

Heat a skillet over a medium-high flame. Add olive oil  and shrimp make sure there is space between each shrimp.

When shrimp are light pink on one side, quickly turn over. Turn off heat. They’ll finish cooking while you get your plates ready.

Place shrimp on top of pea shoots and garlic. Zest a little lemon on top of scallops. Serve.

Coach Dean made a cauliflower rice recipe to go alongside this recipe. I'll have to pin him down so I can get that recipe to you as well.

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

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